CANYON – Following the program’s 13th overall and second straight South Central Regional Championship in 2013, the Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M will hit the hardwood of the WTAMU Fieldhouse “The Box” on Monday morning as they begin their 2014 preseason workouts leading up to the BritKare Lady Buff Classic on Sept. 5-6 in Canyon.
West Texas A&M claimed the program's 18th conference championship, eighth straight and 15th overall LSC Tournament title along with WT's 13th Regional Championship in 2013 before falling in the National Semifinals in a five set thriller to BYU-Hawaii. The Lady Buffs were 35-4 overall during the 2013 campaign and a flawless 16-0 in league play to mark the 15th time WT has finished the LSC season unbeaten since 1986. WT was picked atop of the LSC Preseason Poll announced on July 22nd with senior Kameryn Hayes being tabbed the league’s Preseason Setter of the Year.
The Lady Buffs earned first-place votes on 21 of the 23 ballots for a total of 205 points followed by Regional Finalists Angelo State with the remaining two top votes to finish with 184 points. Texas Woman's ranked third with 149 points followed by Texas A&M-Commerce (129), Tarleton State (125), Midwestern State (83), Texas A&M-Kingsville (69), Eastern New Mexico (51), and Cameron (40) to round out the poll.
The Lady Buff return four starters with Hayes and 2013 AVCA Honorable Mention All-American Lauren Bevan joined by a pair of AVCA All-South Central Region selections Lexi Davis and Lauren Britten. WT head coach Jason Skoch, the 2013 LSC and South Central Region Coach of the Year, enters his sixth season at the helm of the Lady Buffs in 2014 carrying an overall career record of 304-45 (.868, 11th year) including a 168-25 (.863) mark in Canyon.
The team will begin meetings on Sunday with the annual compliance workshop and team physicals followed by the first day of practice on Monday beginning with a conditioning test followed by two-a-day practices. The team will continue workouts throughout the remainder of August as they also take part in the WT Athletics Kickoff Luncheon (Aug. 21) and the Buffalo Club Golf Classic (Aug. 22) before classes begin on August 25th.
The Lady Buffs will play 33 scheduled matches during the regular season including 16 Lone Star Conference contests, the WTAMU Fieldhouse "The Box" will see a total of 13 regular season contests during the season with eight of those coming in league play. The 2013 Lady Buffs finished the season with an overall record of 35-4 with a perfect 16-0 mark in LSC play to claim the league title while going 22-0 in the friendly confines of "The Box".
The annual BritKare Lady Buff Classic will kick-off the 2014 campaign on September 5-6 with scheduled matches against Adams State, Colorado Mesa, UC-Colorado Springs and Regis with Texas A&M-Commerce, Eastern New Mexico, Truman State, Texas Woman's and New Mexico Highlands making the trip to Canyon for the regional crossover event taking place at "The Box" and the First United Bank Center.